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Q: So what did everyone do as soon as they heard John Moore was
directing the next Die Hard film?
A: Look up his filmography and see titles like the remake of Omen and Max Payne.
And now, sadly, A Good Day to Die Hard will join his list of notoriously bad films. As much as I wanted to like this movie, I just couldn't; not even as a die hard fan of the franchise.
First, let's look at the selling point. We're promised ONE thing: a larger scale as far as action sequels go. The first Die Hard took place in a building, the second one in an airport and, the third in NYC, and the fourth in the entire nation of the United States. So logically, Die Hard 5 was going to go international.
Well, ironically, A Good Day to Die Hard feels like the smallest film of the five because the stakes feel so low. The action is endless chaos from start to finish; you quickly become numb to it. And unlike previous Die Hard films, the terrorist threats never get carried out. I never felt like John McClane was going to lose.
The one-liners aren't clever. The jokes aren't funny. The bad family relationship story is getting really old, especially when Die Hard 4 primarily focused on the estranged father-daughter relationship. And unlike Lucy who just came off as a spoiled brat, Jack McClane is introduced by pulling a gun on his own father who we have grown to love over four movies.
I can't speak too much about the "villain" (played by Radivoje Bukvić) without spoilers, but all I have to say is that he has little to no part in the movie. The evil Russian comes off as a cliché, and again, he carries out no threat. I'm dying to talk about the story here, but let's just say it has a really brain dead ending.
In an attempt to end the review on a more positive note, I'd like to say that the movie does have some "oh sh*t" moments here and there. However, I'd still stay clear of this one.
I am heartbroken.
It's a sad day to say this, but it has to be said: "A Good Day to Die Hard" is a dud. The fifth instalment in the beloved "Die Hard" saga ends up as the worst of the series so far; it falters thanks to a weak characterization, even weaker screen writing, lack of worthy villains, absurd action sequences and incoherent direction. You can bet this movie will be mentioned in the same sentence with "Rocky V", "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace", "Speed 2: Cruise Control", "Die Another Day" and "Batman & Robin". Not even the R-rating and the return of the famous "Yippie ki yay" line in full can save this one.
As much as I love action movies, I like mine with a side of plot and character, of which this film fails at. John McClane, one of my favorite film characters of all time, is given a horrendous treatment no beloved character should ever be given: relegated to a sidekick. This is HIS movie, not his son's! From the start he is inexplicably thrust into Russia with no back story of how the previous films over the years have shaped his character now - a key trait that was visible in the previous four films. He is reduced to a wise-cracking action supercop, and even his wisecracks are weak. However, Bruce Willis, bless him, is still McClane without a doubt, as he dishes out the bad guys with weathered-out cynicism in his eyes. He still has it in him, and in no way it is his fault that this movie turned out to be near-crap.
Rather, writer Skip Woods and director John Moore are to blame. Woods clearly missed the whole point of McClane's essence and likability - he is a vulnerable human - an everyday Joe who only stops the bad guys when "there's no one else that can do it". He is a reluctant hero in the first four films, he can get seriously wounded, as he is up against worthy adversaries that are cool, calculative and almost one step ahead of him. Here, McClane, in the opening car chase, and immediately causes mass vehicular damage just to stop thugs from attacking his son, shows no signs of vulnerability (after TWO major car crashes), and has no qualms about killing the bad guys wherever they pop up here. His son Jack (Jai Courtney), filling in for McClane's sidekick, has certain charisma and shows a few glimpses of character development in McClane but it is cut short by the merciless and absurd action sequences.
A good action movie has to have a good villain. "Die Hard 5" has none. It has three primary villains, all of them forgettable. Nothing with the likes of even Thomas Gabriel or Colonel Stuart (the Gruber Brothers must be smirking right now in hell). They're not intelligent, not menacing, not memorable. They're just dumb, die, and that's it. What was their evil plot? What dastardly deeds do they have? Weapons dealing. Oh the humanity!
The film runs at 97 minutes - the shortest in the series. Why the film was released at this length I don't want to know. Nobody complained about the 2 hour running time for each of the previous four movies. Imagine what a better movie this could've been with those cut scenes added back in.
John Moore directs with the subtlety of a car crash. He smash cuts every scene, puts heavy use of slow motion in the excruciatingly absurd climax, and relies heavily on CGI for most of the action sequences. But like all Die Hard movies, there has to be at least one sensational action sequence, and that is at the film's beginning. The only thing I really enjoyed (in a guilty pleasure sort of way) about the whole movie was a massive, destructive stunt-filled car chase throughout the streets of Moscow. It was an intense and exciting scene. Pity the rest of the movie can't hold up to this sensational chase scene alone, especially the end which essentially turns McClane into The Terminator. If you think the F-35 scene in "Die Hard 4" was absurd, hoo boy, wait until you get a load of this one.
At the very least, there's some competent cinematography from Jonathan Sela and a good, riveting music score from Marco Beltrami, who really knows his stuff when it comes to action, as well as incorporating Michael Kamen's themes into this one. If anything, the music is better than the movie.
There is a 6th (and according to Bruce, final) movie in the works. Here's a no brainer - bring back John McTiernan or Renny Harlin (hell, even Len Wiseman for all I care), and hire a good screenwriter who really delivers the old school action goods. I strongly believe Bruce and McClane can deliver the goods still and ride off into the sunset, instead of falling off his horse here. They just need a better story, better direction, and a more than worthy villain with a respected British actor in the role. The franchise doesn't deserve to die with this. It's too good for that.
Shame on you, John Moore and Skip Woods.
As a fan of the Die Hard series I feel the need to warn others - Don't
waste 97 minutes of your life on this movie! Yes, it really is that
Here's a concise summary of why it's just so bad:
1) John McClane's role is really as a side-kick. Why do this to the big man .... why?
2) The movie lacks a bad guy. Does the movie have people that are bad - of course, but it lacks that McClane v Super-villain factor.
3) There's very little of the Die Hard humour we've all grown to love.
4) The movie parodies the Hans Gruber death sequence - never - never do this.
5) Jai Courtney is terrible. It's hard to discern if it's the role he's been asked to play or him, but either way he come across as a spoiled brat pretending to be Jason Bourne.
6) There's hardly any script - it's as if the script were sandwiched in post production to fit around the bangs and crashes.
7) It's not in the USA. This sounds trivial but it's not - the film just doesn't work outside of its tried and tested environment.
8) The car chase scene - oh my. If you do choose to watch the movie after reading this the good news is that yes, it does eventually end - although it may not feel this way.
So in summary, go plant a tree, play football, go for a walk, in fact - do anything but for the love of all that you hold dear - don't waste your life on this.
Now, I'm a fan of the first three movies. I love them really a lot,
especially the original but I also love the 3rd installment, mainly due
to the chemistry between Jackson and Willis. That was phenomenal. I
could not connect with much in the 4th movie as it was a lot of CGI and
made John McClane a superhero who seemed invincible. I wasn't setting
my standards high for this one at all as I knew what it could turn out
to be, but BOY...This movie really is awful
This movie is based around John McClane who travels to Russia to deal with his son's issues. There, a whole lot of crap begins to happen. This movie attempts to have such a complex plot for a Die Hard whereas the other four were so simple that even the dumbest person could tell what was happening. Its like this director, the guy who made the god awful Max Payne thought that the plot had to be complex for an action film like Die Hard As a regular movie, this movie may NOT be that bad but as a Die Hard movie, it is god awful. I couldn't bear to watch the pain that I went through in this film, why? Because, almost nothing in this movie resembled anything about Die Hard. There was no tone, no tension and as a result, it felt nothing like Die Hard. NOTHING!
The characters really are all awful, with the exception of John McClane who still has a bit of relatability to him. Bruce Willis does a fantastic job in the movie but every other member of the cast really didn't appeal to me. The villain was weak, John's son was uninteresting and a lame addition to the franchise, as if he were there to sell action figures. The story was no fun and the action was all messy This movie does absolutely nothing to resemble the Die Hard films and as such, one of the most anticipated movies of 2013 has fallen down a drain with overuse of CGI, lame characters and plot, uninteresting villain with no real intention and another excuse to make more money out of it.
A Good day to Die Hard is a movie that makes you think that this day is a good day for you to die hard. Do not watch it, pointless action movie that does not resemble Die Hard.
First off, I am a huge fan of the three first films, the fourth film
was alright, but it didn't feel like a Die Hard movie, sadly, this one
A Good Day To Die Hard is a huge mess. No good plot, bad cgi, rushed scenes etc. Only thing I found good was the action. An R rating didn't help this one at all. It almost seems like they tried to make this PG-13 at first, but then changed it to R later because fans were complaining about Live Free or Die Hard's (Aka Die Hard 4.0)'s rating. The movie has PG-13 / 12A violence, and this is disappointing. John Moore could of done so much more with this film, but instead, he messes it up just like he did with Max Payne. Good action, but no good story or character development.
Jai Courtney (who starred in Jack Reacher earlier this year) did well on his part, and I do hope he returns if they are making a 6th one, but I am begging, please get a good director for the 6th one, since Bruce says it will possibly be the last one. Bring McTiernan back, and let him end the series with a huge bang! I am sorry to say this, but the film was not good at all. Being an hard-core Die Hard fan, I suggest that other fans should just let this one pass.
Let me start off by saying that like everyone I had a feeling this
could go wrong. You have a terrible writer, Skip Woods(even if I
enjoyed The A-Team) and a terrible director, John Moore. The people at
Fox must be idiots because John Moore has not made one good film, so to
trust him with the Die Hard franchise seemed a bad idea. The film has a
lot of action if not too much, there isn't any dialog!!!! At 97 minutes
it's the shortest one in the series ans it sure feels that way. Every
other film in the franchise were longer, they gave you more time to
explore the rest of the film. But this one feels so rushed, like okay
let's go there , and then here,... The film has no structure. It's like
they said "alright guys were gonna make this as fast as possible" Bruce
Willis is fine but it's like he doesn't even talk during the whole
movie, his chemistry with Jai Courtney is fine. The plot is okay even
if you can see the twist coming after 25 minutes. What makes this film
still enjoyable is the action even though it's disturbed by shaky-cam,
bad editing and bad CGI effects. If they are gonna make another one
they should bring back John Mctiernan and make the movie on a smaller
scale. Back to basics!! If they make it on a bigger scale than they
should make it as good as With a Vengeance.And another thing: You can't
drive from Moscow to Chernobyl in a couple of hours!!!!!!
This is by far the worst entry in the franchise
I love Die Hard, but shaky camera ruined it for me this time. I can't see because 35% film use shaky camera, 25% out of focus, blurry and 10% rapid zoom ins. Please STOP using Shaky Camera in Films, PLEASE :I am some of those remaining species, who go to watch feature films in cinemas. I never download a movie for free, I pay to netflix. Just doing my part to save the cinema I love. But, some directors and movie making houses, make stupid moves. One of them is use of unwanted, un-needed, shaky camera. So, I want to get my voice heard. If you are a fan, go see the movie, but if you don't like Shaky Camera, then think twice.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Our hearts go out to Bruce Willis. Truly. Six years after successfully
restarting the most important character of his entire movie-making
career, Willis has to watch it all crash and burn to the ground with
this loud, dumb and plain boring fifth chapter, the erroneously-titled
'A Good Day to Live Hard'. Indeed, while its immediate predecessor
'Live Free or Die Hard' banked on a winning formula of old-school
heroics with new-age sensibilities, this sequel is firmly stuck in the
past and the worse thing about it is that it would only be passable
by the standards of an 80s action movie.
Truth be told, Willis isn't at all the reason why this fails to be a good day for the 'Die Hard' franchise. At the age of 57, the man can still run, carry a mean weapon and kick ass not to mention his trademark squint and unflappable wisecracking attitude. To put it simply, Willis is still very much the John McClane we've loved in the 80s and 90s and even in the very last movie before this one. But much as Willis tries, he is severely let down by a toxic combination of weak scripting and even weaker directing the former of which by Skip Woods and the latter by John Moore.
Little in either Woods' or Moore's filmography suggests that they are capable of rising above mediocrity, and this exercise in blandness is proof of that foolish consistency. Let's start with Woods' script, which clearly thinks it can be a 'Mission Impossible' by way of 'Die Hard' so instead of putting the New York City detective in his home turf, or for that matter, his home country, decides to transport him all the way to the Moscow to wreak havoc. The excuse? To reconnect with his long lost son, Jack, who has apparently turned bad and is now imprisoned in Russia.
Nowhere in the rest of the story does Woods manage to convince us that the change in location is worth the while. Even though we are now well into the 21st century, Woods still seems stuck in the last, so not only are the good guys and bad guys drawn along the lines of Americans and Russians respectively (cue the stereotypes about both nationalities), the plot has something to do with as archaic an institution as Chernobyl. Oh yes, we're back to foiling some nasty Russian's nefarious plan of using the uranium from the site to build weapons of mass destruction.
To make matters worse, Moore is too daft to realise that the very premise in itself strains credibility. How else can you explain why following scene after scene of destruction around the Russian capital, there is no sign of any law and order agency? Are we supposed to believe that the police are too busy or nonchalant to care about some highway chase that decimates pretty much every one of the city's infrastructure it comes across? Or that no authority responds to some helicopter firing round after round after round into a high-rise building? We like that our action movies are escapist, but not when they ignore every shred of common sense simply for expediency.
The fact that we pay attention to these details is in itself telling, for despite a frenetic pace that goes from scene after scene of action, the movie remains a bore. Shots are fired, things get blown up and people get killed from time to time, but at the end of the day, all that action is staged so unimaginatively that it fails to even interest let alone excite you. The pacing within each sequence is too monotonous, the sound seems perpetually cranked on loud, and the weaponry plus an over-used helicopter just gets tiresome too quickly. As if to compensate for the lack of any genuine thrills, the climax goes over- the-top, but like the rest of the movie, grows so incredulous especially in slo-mo that it is just laughable.
Ironically, what passes as John McClane's wise cracks is anything but humorous. Most of McClane's lines are in the context of his father-son relationship with Jack (Jai Courtney), but are hardly witty or engaging. They are also frustratingly repetitive, consisting of John lamenting how Jack nary shows him any respect as a father, or John lamenting how he had expected no more than a vacation in Moscow, or some inane topic like whether they will grow a third hand after stepping into Chernobyl without any protective suit. If John's lines are horrid, the rest of the characters can be no better and what really takes the cake is when John's nemesis Alik (Rasha Bukvic) talks about how he used to be a pretty good tap dancer whom no one appreciated.
Even more lamentable is how this instalment, if played right, could have been an exciting new page for the 'Die Hard' series, with John passing the baton to his CIA operative of a son Jack. Yet this fifth chapter is easily the worst 'Die Hard' entry and quite possibly might sound the death knell for the franchise. If John McClane had a penchant for landing in the wrong place at the wrong time, then 'A Good Day to Die Hard' is Bruce Willis' unfortunate mistake of being in the wrong movie with the wrong people.
I gave it a 3 to be nice because i'll always have a huge place in my
heart for Die Hard, and just because i am loyal to the franchise i will
probably buy this piece of junk on DVD when it comes out. Maybe when it
comes out on DVD it'll be the extended edition ( seriously it was
barely and hour and an a half long) and it'll actually have a story
instead of just long drawn out action scenes, one-liners, and dialogue
we can actually hear over the load background noise. I use to rank Die
Harder as the worse of the franchise, guess who just moved up a step.
The only thing that this movie benefited the franchise is that John's son at the end actually mentions the fact that his name is actually John McClane Jr. not Jake ( in Die Hard (1988) his kids are named Lucy and John Jr.), But not actually explain the name change in the first place.
Much like when they took Oceans 12 to Europe and twisted Indiana Jones into confusing whirlwind that involved aliens, they should have just stayed in America where John McClane belongs. We got enough problems here he could fight.
In the early '80s and '90s, the "Die Hard" series of films were all
about entertainment. Sure it's not a thought-provoking piece of art,
but it's art done with class, integrity and art; these films were made
at a time when action films were..actually..action films. They had no
quick-style MTV editing that tries to pass itself off as "action", they
were done with pure and honest craftsmanship with stunt men willing to
put it all out for all to see. And for that aspect alone, they did a
So now I look at A Good Day to Die Hard, with all the trappings that action films are known for and ostentatious hijinks that scream Michael Bay-esque action that reeks of his earlier films to date.
Bruce Willis plays McClane to a hilt, but that's all there is. No heartwarming moments, no instances of morality, no deep insights into why he kills his enemies, John McClane is just that. John McClane. A bravado of words and action that homages the earlier films.
The movie at times tries to be gritty and funny at the same time, but with such an inane screenplay and unfunny jokes, it becomes quite apparent that this film was simply not meant to continue the series. To try to adapt an relic of the '80s and '90s into a modern context with current technology, doesn't work anymore. The only exception to this is Rambo, where he was fighting against a brutal regime in Southeast Asia. It worked because the setting was raw in it's brutal intensity; plus Rambo is a timeless hero and much more plausible. John McClane is just a beefed-up Jack Bauer without the hero's legendary outbursts of anger when something goes wrong or impedes him from saving the day. Not once is there a chance for the viewer to root for McClane. He remains lifeless and stiff; the very opposite of his portrayal in the earlier films.
In an attempt to distance itself from its PG-13 predecessor, the film makers decided to make this film rated R. Yet it hardly saved the film from it's mediocre direction. I suspect this was due to the large backlash from audiences of Live Free or Die Hard, a film that was only a Die Hard film in name only, not a "true" Die Hard film, which is evident in the director's inability to handle the material.
I tried to keep an open mind, after the execrable LFODH, but after this, I hope Bruce and co. just hang up the wife beater for the final time. No more. John McClane is a hero of the past and should be left there for all time's sake.
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